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Six Partner Actions Proven to Increase Retention 10x

Not every partner you recruit will generate a profit—it’s an inevitable part of managing channel sales. However, there are actions you can take to strengthen program engagement and long-term retention.

Allbound observed software users’ chosen behaviors and tracked their portal sessions for the subsequent twelve weeks in order to discern which types of portal behavior noticeably impacted future engagement rates.

Data in hand, you can make strategic choices when choosing your PRM and designing your partner program experience.

    10+ Portal Logins Results in 575% More Likelihood of Long-Term Engagement

    PARTNERS WHO SIGN IN AT LEAST TEN TIMES ARE 575% MORE LIKELY TO ENGAGE WITH THE PORTAL AFTER 12 WEEKS THAN THOSE WHO VISITED ONLY FIVE TIMES.

    Much like starting a new exercise regimen or diet, the early days of a partner’s journey are essential for establishing routines. Once early enthusiasm for your program wanes, it’s significantly more difficult to recapture a partner’s attention.

     

    What this means for partner managers:
    Channel managers need to heavily promote portal utilization during onboarding by utilizing key software features and consistent messaging.

    Partner Portal Sign Ins

    HOW TO LEVERAGE THESE INSIGHTS TO IMPROVE ACTIVATION RATES & RETENTION

    01. Prioritize UX when choosing a portal.

    To keep your partners repeatedly returning early in their journey, you need to ensure each session is a fruitful use of their time. No mazes with “dead-ends,” no riddles, and no hard-to-find links! Outside of smart design, there are strategic features to rely upon, including:

    • Behavior-triggered automation to guide users towards preferred next steps
    • Search bar for an alternative path to finding content
    • Multi-step learning tracks that reveal new materials as users advance
    • Custom experiences and curtailed content access based on partner classifications

     

    02. Create automated email reminders to log into the portal if partners start to disengage.

    Partners will naturally have a lot on their minds; their inactivity most likely comes from the many distractions demanding their attention rather than an intentional decision. Automated reminders to check out new readings or finish onboarding can keep your program top of mind without requiring additional effort on your part.

     

    03. Don’t undermine the portal’s importance by using it inconsistently.

    Members of your team should not share content through email or similar methods. If partners reach out directly to request co-branded materials or marketing funds, point them towards the portal’s designated features and offer additional training.

     

    04. Continually keep the portal experience fresh (rather than letting it grow stale).

    Partners respond positively to regularly updated content recommendations and, in turn, have more motivation to visit your portal. If you present the same articles week after week, they have no reason to engage continually.

     

    Making a good first impression with your partners is important, but their last impression of you is what counts. So make sure you are constantly giving your partners a reason to engage early, and often. Regular engagement will quickly become a habit for your partners. In the words of Warren Buffet: “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”

    Ryan Sherman, Head of Product at Allbound

    Utilizing the Content Widget

    ACCESSING 2 ARTICLES DOUBLES THE POTENTIAL FOR LONG-TERM ENGAGEMENT

    Data suggests that even minimal interactions with targeted content will influence partners’ potential for future engagement. For instance, portal visitors who clicked on the Popular and/or New Content widget from their dashboard were twice as likely to remain active 12 weeks later than those who did not.

     

    What this means for partner managers:
    Making strategically chosen content immediately accessible and sharable should be a top priority. Any unnecessary friction or interruptions to content interaction could lead to lower partner activation rates.

    Statistically, the more partners initially engage with content, the more likely they remain active long-term. There is a direct correlation between the number of times partners share content and the likelihood that they’ll remain active 12 weeks later 

    Partners who share content twice are 2X more likely to be active after 12 weeks than those who don’t share content at all.

    Partners who co-branded content 3X are twice as likely to remain active longterm than those who don’t.

    What this means for partner managers:
    Calls-to-action to share and co-brand content should be visually prominent (and easy to execute) within the chosen partner portal.

    HOW TO LEVERAGE THESE INSIGHTS TO IMPROVE ACTIVATION RATES & RETENTION

    01. Eliminate barriers between partners and the content that grabs (and keeps) their attention.

    This guiding initiative should manifest in several UX-driven features, including:

    • Updated content recommendations on the homepage driven by partner grouping
    • Sophisticated library organization options that enable you to customize different partners’ content experiences at scale
    • In-portal co-branding capabilities for instant results with minimal effort from the partner
    • Sharing buttons on all content to eliminate manual steps from the partner

     

    02. Don’t neglect content engagement KPIs when measuring your program’s health.

    Partners’ willingness to read, share, and co-brand materials are early indicators of their longevity and potential profitability.

     

    03. Document individual materials’ engagement rates to align your content to users’ interests.

    Content Management capabilities should grant insights into which pieces generate the most clicks, partner pins, and shares. Use this data when choosing which content themes and mediums to promote to improve overall engagement.

     

    04. Invest in new content for your partners, not just your customers.

    Not all your content needs to be about you. Sprinkle in industry insights, general strategy documents, templates, and other topics that help partners better reach their goals

     

    If you want your partners to invest their time with you, you need to invest time in your partners.
    Engagement is a two way street.

    Ryan Sherman, Head of Product at Allbound

    THE CREATION OF A PROSPECT PAGE DOUBLES THE LIKELIHOOD OF LONG-TERM ENGAGEMENT

    The juncture between onboarding and successfully courting a prospect is crucial for partners. After all, this is the turning point at which they put theory into practice and decide whether selling your services is worth their time.

    Therefore, it should be no surprise that those partners who successfully create a prospect page are more likely to engage long-term than those who fail to reach this critical step in their journey.

    Use of Playbooks

    When partners access playbooks to strengthen sales conversations further, the likelihood for long-term engagement increases even further.

    By utilizing playbooks twice, partners become 1.6x more likely to continue logging into the portal after 12 weeks. If they employ playbooks seven times, this probability increases to 300% greater than those who never utilize one.

     

    What this means for partner managers:
    Giving partners the push and support they need to engage their first prospect dramatically increases the likelihood of their long-term program participation.

    Partners who create a prospect page are more than 2x as likely to engage longterm than those who don’t.

    How to Leverage These Insights to Improve Activation Rates & Retention

    Consider giving newly onboarded partners leads to help cement their ongoing engagement. There’s no rule saying that your partners have to find every lead on their own. Passing a lead their way may diminish your revenue share on this single opportunity, but it can go a long way to earning the partner’s loyalty.

     

    Set up your PRM to automatically recommend playbooks based on information entered during the prospect page creation. Based on a few straightforward information fields, your portal can automatically recommend relevant resources that guide partners through sales conversations. Improved revenue aside, these playbooks make partners feel supported as they navigate new territory.

     

    Leveraging automation rules within Allbound is a great way to create a consistent partner experience and continually drive activities that are proven to create successful channel outcomes.

    Ryan Sherman, Head of Product at Allbound

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